|Fruits Basket character|
|Created by||Natsuki Takaya|
|Voiced by||Ryōtarō Okiayu (Japanese)
John Burgmeier (English)
Shigure Sohma (草摩 紫呉 Sōma Shigure ) is a fictional character in the manga and anime series Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya. He transforms into the Dog of the Chinese zodiac whenever he is hugged by the opposite gender or his body comes under a great deal of stress. Shigure is one of the oldest members of the zodiac.
Shigure repeatedly uses his favorite phrase "Que será, será" meaning "Whatever will be, will be" in Spanish. According to the anime, when he turns into a Dog, he's revealed to have black fur.
Creation and conception
Natsuki Takaya said about Shigure in the final book: If you were to say he's a problem child, you'd be right. He doesn't have the emotions of characters I usually draw. That was what I always intended, but as I continued to draw him,I got the feeling that he was growing really superficial.
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Personality and background
Shigure is laid-back and anything but solemn and according to the first episode, he says that he's a nonviolent peacemaker. He is a flirt, a tease, and often acts like a pervert. Akito once remarked, "I thought you'd sleep with any woman." He likes to tease Tohru by asking her for dates and often says he likes high school girls. Shigure is a writer of both romance novels and academic books. He loves to drive his editor, Mitchan, insane by disappearing whenever she comes to pick up his draft or pretending to not have written anything. His most famous and well-known pen name is Kiritani Noa (western order, Noa Kiritani), which he usually uses for his romance novels such as Summer-Colored Sigh, which he showed to Saki Hanajima, Arisa Uotani and Kyo Sohma. They give very different reactions: Hanajima asks if a sequel will be coming out, while Uotani says it is unacceptable to write that 'smut' and Kyo comments that it's sick. Tohru thinks it's amazing that she knows an author.
Shigure's best friends are Hatori Sohma and Ayame Sohma. The trio, nicknamed the Mabudachi Trio, have been friends since their childhood. While Ayame and Shigure get along very well, it's less certain how Hatori, who is always exasperated with them, became their friend. On the other hand, Shigure appears to have a close friendship with Hatori as it is always Hatori Shigure confides the inner workings of his mind.
It is revealed in the manga that, although he does feel brotherly affection for her, Shigure is actually using Tohru Honda to break the Sohma curse. This is not true in the anime, which deviates from the original manga's plot after a certain point. Shigure is normally seen in a traditional kimono. Occasionally, when he does business, he wears western style clothing (suits).
Occasionally, Shigure shows another side of his character. He can be surprisingly mature and thoughtful, giving rather sage an insightful advice to Tohru, Kyo, Yuki, and other characters. In the manga, and less noticeably in the anime, he is also shown to be dark-humored and manipulative; he claims that he would (and does) use anyone and anything in order to reach his goal. For example, in Chapter 59, Akito comes to the summer house Tohru and the Sohmas were at in order to test how far the bond had broken despite the inevitable mental damage Yuki and the other Sohmas underwent as a result. He is also spiteful, sleeping with Ren Sohma, Akito's mother, to get back at Akito for sleeping with Kureno.
In the manga, Shigure's relationship with Akito is twisted and complicated. Despite being in love with Akito, Shigure is very cold to Akito. He confesses to Hatori that the reason he treats Akito so coldly is because he "doesn't want to be her father", suggesting that Shigure felt that Akito had projected her late father on to Shigure, who was initially very kind to her (Yuki remembers witnessing Shigure comforting a crying Akito as a child), and using him as a substitute. Every action he takes can be traced back to his love for Akito. There is a constant push and pull between the two throughout the manga: when, in an act of desperation, Akito sleeps with Kureno, Shigure bites back by sleeping with Akito's mother, causing him to be thrown out of the main house. Shigure's attempts to break the curse and Akito's attempts to salvage it can also be viewed as an example of this dynamic, although the reason Shigure struggles so hard against the curse is so that he can be on equal ground with Akito; in the manga, Shigure speculates that, in a way, he is the most affected by the Sohma curse as he is considered beneath Akito who he loves. The reason he is always calm and "wanders around" is to control his insecurity. This may be the reason for his "perverted" persona. We also learn that he was very cold to Mayuko Shiraki—Tohru Honda's and the Sohma's homeroom teacher—during their brief one month relationship, never once touching her intimately, despite being the one to ask her out. Shigure claims he went out with her out of pity and boredom, but it is suggested that Mayuko was a distraction for him.
As for Kureno Sohma, Shigure initially got along well with him and in an extra, we see that Kureno looked up to and followed Shigure around when they were children. During the events of the manga, however, Shigure held deep amounts of resentment for Kureno for sleeping with and having a continuous relationship with Akito and is of the opinion that had Kureno left Akito when his curse broke instead of staying it would have been much healthier for her.
Shigure lives on the "outside" of the Sohma house in a large home with Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru. In the house, he normally walks around bare-footed while everyone else wears socks. His reason for doing so is that it's his house.
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- Takaya, Natsuki (2008-08-08). Fruits Basket, Volume 14. Los Angeles: Tokyopop. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-59532-409-2.
- Vol. 23 Ch. 132
- Reiter, Joseph (2007-12-17). "Fruits Basket - The Complete Collection DVD Review". Retrieved 2008-04-17. "He is a ball of laughs and adds greatly to the overall feel of the series. I can honestly say that without the addition of Shigure's character Fruits Basket would not be as strong."
- RPL. "Anime Reviews: Fruits Basket". UK Anime Net. Retrieved 2008-04-18. "Shigure, the quiet writer who turns into a Dog is probably the coolest character simply due to the fact that he's a very subtle perv ... he gets a nice share of the best one-liners too."